How to transform your leadership with one neglected action

The power of reading in a leader's life

Leaders are readers.

This is a very popular statement in many circles and with some audiences; and to be clear, I believe it’s true.

But…

Not all readers are leaders. Even among those who hold a position of leadership in some organization, in many cases, the leader reads simply to say they have read. I have lost count on the number of times I’ve heard something along the lines of, “Oh yeah, I read that not too long ago.”

Some read, only to say they’ve read.

If  you are a leader, then reading is an imperative value that needs to be cultivated in your life; but not so that you can simply say you have glanced over the information contained in a certain book.

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For the leader, reading should be much more than a simple transfer of information. Reading should be about inspiration for the leader; and more importantly, reading should lead to transformation.

Learning isn’t about facts, and figures. We call this memorization;  and memorization has its place; but for the leader, learning involves doing things differently. Learning has to do with the transfer of great ideas, and  strategies; and once the transfer has been made, learning that comes from reading always transforms the reader.

I have books on my shelf that I’ve already read, and reread, and re-reread. Why? Because they didn’t just impart information to me; but they made an impression on me. When a leader reads a book that makes a solid impression on him or her, it is a clue that they need to revisit the book over and over.

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Quality books are not just filled with words used to take up space, they contain principles that can be transferred. Principles are not fully understood or put into practice in a leader’s life over night. Sometimes it takes years to grasp the amazing principles you can gain from reading a book that stirs you.

Now, not every book will impact you in the same way. Some, we read and put away. They contain great information and substance; but they didn’t move you in the way other books have.

But when you find a book that moves you, grasp hold of it and don’t let it go. Chances are good a book like that has power to transform you as a leader.

http://larryshankle.com

 

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Leaders are readers; but not every reader is a leader.

I have a couple of questions for you:

  • Is your leadership better from the time you’ve invested reading?
  • What books have made a transformational impact on your own leadership?
  • Are there books that you revisit over and over again? What are they?

Here’s a few that have impacted my own leadership (some are older, others more recent):

  1. Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend

  2. The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization

  3. Spiritual Leadership: Principles of Excellence For Every Believer (Commitment To Spiritual Growth)

  4. The Four Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership: The Power of Leading from Your Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength

  5. The Power of Vision: Discover and Apply God’s Plan for Your Life and Ministry

  6. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

  7. It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership

  8. Eisenhower on Leadership: Ike’s Enduring Lessons in Total Victory Management

  9. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You

 

For further reading about the topic of leadership, read these posts:

Simple Leadership: 5 Great Ways To Bring Simplicity To Your Leadership

How To Improve Your Leadership By Leading With Integrity

Larry Shankle is a pastor, author, and blogger. He helps people get clarity and direction in their calling, purpose, dreams, and leadership.

Larry and his wife (Amanda) live in the Arkansas river valley with their two boys (Braxton and Dawson). He has spent almost two decades in active local church ministry serving in multiple leadership roles. Larry has spent the last six and a half years serving as Lead Pastor of GrandviewChurch in Natural Dam, AR.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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